When I was packing for my four-day trip to Riga in Latvia, I was a bit worried about the weather. In my mind, I saw a city shivering under sub-zero temperatures and layers of ice.
Let me reassure you: it wasn't that bad.
Riga weather and general climate
Like the rest of Latvia, Riga has a moderate climate with four distinct seasons. Spring can start as early as mid-February or as late as April and lasts until June when summer kicks in. Fall starts in September and runs until December, the start of winter.
Summer is actually Latvia's wettest season.
Latvia temperature averages lie around 17°C/63°F in July, usually the warmest month, and -5°C/24°F in February, usually the coldest month. It can get as warm as 30°C/86°F and as cold as -30°C/-22°F though.
Luckily, it went nowhere near that freezing when I was there.
Riga weather in December during my trip
When I was packing, the forecast for Riga predicted temperatures to stay around 0°C/32°F and they did. The weather in Riga was actually pretty nice while I was there. I enjoyed blue skies and sunshine most of the time, with just one grey and rainy day.
Oh, and if you're wondering “Does it snow in Riga in December?” I can tell you that yes, it does :-) Well, maybe not always, but it snowed right before I got there and also one evening and one morning while I was there.
What I packed to visit Riga in winter
As I knew I was going to be outdoors a lot, exploring the city, I made sure to pack warm layers. It's super important to pack layers as the air in between them actually keeps you warm as well. On top of that, it was fairly warm in some cafes, restaurants and stores so you'll want to be able to take something off as well.
- zomig (for migraine attacks)
- immodium (against diarrhea)
- montelukast (against allergies)
- cetirizine (against allergies)
- motilium (against nausea)
- spidifen (painkiller)
- symbicort (inhaler)
- birth control pil
- special bandages against blisters
- cold meds (because I had a cold)
2. Clothes and accessories
- my fleece zippered Quechua jumper
- 1 long warm jumper with turtleneck
- 2 pairs of jeans
- my Icebreaker Lightweight 200 g legging that I wore every day underneath my jeans
- my Icebreaker lightweight Oasis Henley 200 g base layer + 2 tops to wear underneath it
- 1 casual blouse to wear on top of the Icebreaker baselayer and underneath my fleece or jumper
- touch screen sensitive gloves
- 4 pairs of warm socks, including one pair of Icebreaker merino woolen socks
- compression socks for on the plane
- basic underwear and bras
- my warm wind and waterproof parka
- 1 regular winter hat
- 1 fleece buff
- 1 pair of sneakers
3. Other things
- 3 packs of paper tissues
- my Pacsafe Citysafe travel handbag
- a daypack in which I put my Pacsafe handbag and for on the plane
- a notebook and two pens
- my absolute favorite flight pillow
- my laptop + charger
- my Kindle
- my Samsung S8 + charger
- USB-cables to connect all the electronics to each other
- my Skyroam portable WiFi device
- facial creme
- lip balm
- hair brush
- basic make-up and make-up remover
- toothpaste + tooth brush
- some other basic bathroom items
- travel sized toiletry containers
And that's it! I only spent four days in Riga and didn't have any activities planned that required special attire, so I didn't need to pack many clothes. All of the above fit into my beloved Crumpler carry-on trolley and my daypack.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets cancelled, you get sick or hurt abroad and even when your electronics break or get stolen. I've had ongoing travel insurance ever since I started traveling to make sure I'm covered for every trip I go on.
Rather be safe than sorry too? Check out World Nomads. They cover a wide range of activities for people from 140 countries.
Pin for later
I was invited to come and experience Riga in winter by the Latvia Tourism Board. As always when I do collaborations like this, what I wrote was entirely up to me.
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